That having been said... Do you have your rayguns ready, motherfuckers? Get in the car. Quick.
My Chemical Romance
Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys
November 22, 2010
1. “Look Alive, Sunshine”
The introduction to the album and the first time the listener hears narrator Dr. Death Defying's smooth Zone jargon. “Look Alive…” is exactly what you hear at the beginning of the “Na Na Na…” video, and – as you know if you have seen it – the two tracks blend perfectly.
2. “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)”
The first single from the album and a song that many of you have probably already heard. I, having heard it in the context of the rest of the album, can safely say that the song is, along with “Look Alive, Sunshine,” a perfect introduction to the Killjoys and their world.
3. “Bulletproof Heart”
Starting slow and simple with vocal harmonies to die for, “Bulletproof…” sounds almost like a song that could be in a production of “My Chemical Romance: The Musical” as the triumphant theme-song for united runaways.
The verses have a youthful bounce that sounds almost sweet or precocious, which induced smiles and head-nodding among the listening party crowd. The chorus, like a gust of furious, passionate wind hits, and I mean literally hits the listener. Through the chorus and until the safe landing on side of the next verse, the listener is soaring, windswept by its powerful melody and lyrics:
“Gravity/ Don’t mean too much to me/ I’m who I’ve got to be/ These pigs are after me, after you...”
The lyrics speak of the newspaper pleas for the missing Jenny and Johnny, characters Gerard had mentioned in interviews when the song was still titled “Trans-Am,” to come back home.
The mood of the song is that of carefree escape and a fight to survive for those who “do [their] talking with [their] laser beams.”
The album's second single that delivers, with a quiet intensity through the verses and a bright illumination of a chorus, a message for the listener to express his or her self.
The video for "SING" will debut on MTV circa 7:50 EST on November 18.
5. “Planetary (GO!)”
The song starts with sirens, a clear-cut sign that shit’s about to go down in the Zones. Gerard Way’s opening vocals are hushed and intense, perhaps indicating quiet planning to run from the law force those sirens are summoning. With plans in line and rayguns at the ready, the song bursts out and the running begins with heavy synth and a dance beat.
The lyrics of the song are framed almost as an advertisement for things like “truth” at the beginning before they turn to defiance and running, a thing it seems the Killjoys must always do.
It’s as if My Chemical Romance is reclaiming the notion of the party and making it dangerous, dancing into it with violence, turning up the volume and saying something along the lines of: “Hey, you think I’m a drag? Deal with it, motherfucker!” The same notion can also be heard on "Party Poison."
"Planetary (GO!)" is mind-numbingly FUN, which may seem like a scary thing, but if you know you can never go home and you know someone will always be chasing after you, why not celebrate for the time you have, right?
6. “The Only Hope For Me Is You”
The second taste fans got of Danger Days.... "The Only Hope for me Is You" leads the listener through destruction and toward hope.
7. “Jet-Star and The Kobra Kid/Traffic Report”
Here’s Dr. Death Defying again, but this time his purpose is not to get us pumped for an adventure. He’s returning with “bad news from the zones, Tumbleweeds.”
8. “Party Poison”
The renamed, jazzed-up version of the song fans knew from The Roxy shows as “Death Before Disco.” It is hard to tell how it changed from the shows because, as I have come to find, the live versions of these songs – though awesome – do not justify how multi-dimensional and jaw-droppingly impressive they all actually are.
The song starts with the frantic and excited-sounding voice of a woman speaking Japanese. The sound of heavy, dirty guitars seem to sweep the voice of the woman away into MCR’s loud-and-proud “anti-party” party song.
Where the song differs from the “Death Before Disco” version can be heard in a few beginning vocal rhythms that stray enough from the expected to get one’s attention. There’s also a sweet, mini guitar solo thrown in at the beginning. “Party Poison” is a potent substance, enough to kill all parties.
9. “Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back”
"Save Yourself..." is among several songs on the album that become a sort of uniting force for the "gang" in the Zones as well as for My Chemical Romance and the band's fans.
It sounds as if it could have come from the 1980's at parts, and - as a few fans pointed out - sounds almost Bon Jovi-esque, but it's updated from that sound, MCR-ified and turned brand new.
Dowload it for free! (Legally, of course)
As far as concept goes, "S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W" is probably the most “in-character” song on the album, and it also incorporates the most effects, it seems, with a sort of piercing, watery fog covering it.
The song, at its start sounds deceptively like “I Don’t Love You” with more piercing guitars. It sets the mood of the Killjoys’ world with lines like “Blow a kiss at the methane skies” and mentions of having “playground eyes.” It’s like a shrieking lullaby for nightfall in The Zones, warning the Killjoys to find somewhere to retreat to hide from the S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W.
A slow, soft love song for the runaways. The track's positioning next to "DESTROYA," makes it seem almost utterly ridiculously tame and slow in comparison. However, it also emphasizes exactly how tremendously the songs of Danger Days can fluctuate in style through the album.
“Summertime” is a befitting title. From the start, the music of this song seems to connote summer. It's easy to picture sunny driving weather and windows down with this song playing. The synth in it has almost a shining sound reminiscent of sun on water.
The vocal delivery of the song made it a bit hard to decipher the lyrics, but the chorus ends with: “You can run away with me/ Any time you want.”
When Gerard mentioned to a crowd on the U.K. tour that the song had a tribal beat, he meant actual tribal drums, which are what start this shocking number.
Absolutely heavy and utterly annihilating, "DESTROYA" raises questions about faith and superstition delivered as something between sexual aggression and straight-up rage. I’ve come to call the combination a “ragephrodisiac.”
Tribal percussion paired with rough and angry guitars mix the animalistic and rowdy cocktail for explosions and, well, destruction. "DESTROYA" is a feral call from a wild world. It really makes you want to slap Guns 'N Roses in the face for giving you such a poor welcoming to the jungle so many years ago. No exaggeration or hyperbolic MCR fan speak on that, either. I mean the Hell out of it.
13. “The Kids From Yesterday”
You think you know but you have no idea. My Chemical Romance was excited to play “The Kids From Yesterday” at their U.K. comeback shows, and I’m sure it was great live, and the videos of it are wonderful, but they lack much of what the recorded song provides.
A looping clip of screaming kids opens, infiltrates through, and closes the song and there are so many effects that one may have missed from merely seeing the live version.
The song exemplifies MCR’s progress as a band and how much they put into each piece of art they release, especially with the lyric “This could be the last of all the rides we take. So, hold on tight and don’t look back."
At the end, "...Kids..." pulls a "Drowning Lessons" and reprises briefly.
14. “Goodnite, Dr. Death”
Dr. Death Defying signs off for the album, reminding us to always keep running. Even if you manage to get yourself “dusted” along your journey through the Zones, “your shadow lives on without you.” Dr. Death signs off with the Star Spangled Banner, which ends with a bang that rippled the huge speakers in the room where the listening party was held and caused some degree of exclamation from us.
15. Vampire Money
“3, 2, 1/ We came to fuck!!” Gerard introduces each band member to start the song, which rips, with absolute filth, through raw, Punk murderous-ness. And it’s not a typical modern imitation of the Punk that so many have deemed dead. It’s as if My Chemical Romance, dirty, young, careless and hellbent on destroying the world, traveled back in time to open for the Ramones and brought the future with them to the stage.
The gritty solo in "Vampire Money," the whole song in fact, sounds like someone took something simple, a formula for Punk song with hand-claps, rhythmic up-shouts and other staples, and scribbled all over it and ripped and frayed it until it was perfect.
It’s a Trans-Am peel-out of Zone 5 proportions that will kick you straight in the teeth and leave you for dead. As art should. It’s the perfect way to end an amazing adventure and come back to 2010.
The resounding themes of the album seem to be: living and creating to the fullest without regard for the consequences ("the aftermath is secondary"), defending yourself, uniting in pursuit of something, freedom, explosions and bad-assery. There are far more slow songs on the album than many had anticipated. However, the slow ones have as much power as the fast to grab the listener and strangle them to attention with the force of Kobra Kid’s Draculoid-dusting power glove.
Though the Killjoys concept is heavy, ‘Danger Days…’ is the most straightforward My Chemical Romance album, and could possibly be the one that will remove from the band, along with its fans, the marks misinterpretation have left on us all.
And so, my Dust Kittens, concludes my review. If you have any questions about the album that you are dying to have answered, leave them in the comments, and I will be happy to respond!
PS: Living without "DESTROYA" and "Vampire Money" for the next couple weeks may make me lose my mind.
Buzznet photos | Fellow Killjoy Irene's review | Buzznet Album Review | My Chemical Freak review | Brandi from MCFreak's trip re-cap
Pictures from my trip